Brain Damage

Archived posts from this Category

Pediatric Brain Injury (Statistics and Treatment)

Posted by on 16 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Brain, Brain Damage, Brain Development

According to pediatric brain injury statistics, it is estimated that well over three million children in the United States are affected with pediatric brain injury each year. Pediatric brain injuries can be caused by a wide-variety of things including: sports injuries, meningitis, viral infection, drug use, war injuries, assaults, vehicle accidents, AIDS infection, and substance abuse. For most people that have a baby that has a pediatric brain injury, the news can be absolutely devastating. What’s even more devastating is the fact that most of these children are not given adequate care over the long term.

Long Term Brain Deficits

People that experience a pediatric acquired brain injury generally have a fairly poor long term prognosis. There can be significant developmental gaps (e.g. learning, cognition, etc.) for individuals that experienced one of these injuries. It is really tough to deal with this as parents of a baby who has a pediatric brain injury, but it is something that you must do. It is best to learn about the condition and educate yourself if you just found out that your baby has a significant injury. Unfortunately, many people end up panicking and this really just runs them in circles and really ends up helping nobody.

Different Types of Injuries

A pediatric brain injury is much more than just a small bump on the head or a minor scrape. It is a serious blow to the head that can cause a bunch of damage. Things like Shaken Baby Syndrome, in which a baby is shaken violently, thrown, or slammed, can induce very severe pediatric brain injuries. When the baby’s skull hits something with a lot of force, it causes bleeding inside of the brain and a ton of pressure is applied throughout the entire skull. This pressure is what can cause permanent brain damage, which could lead to a ton of different impairments when the brain is developing.

Pediatric Brain Injury Treatment

It is best to make an attempt to treat pediatric brain injuries as soon as possible; seek immediate medical attention for your baby. Currently there is a lot of research being done in the area of brain injury for babies and children. Most babies need to recover in the right environment with an appropriate natural balance between their home and hospital. If at all possible, it would be a great idea to send your baby to a pediatric brain injury program; there are these specialized programs throughout the country. Before you sign your baby up for rehab services, it would be a very smart idea to make sure that you have read reviews of the facility and inspected it yourself to make sure that it is up to your standards. Although the prognosis is not the greatest for a pediatric brain injury, taking action to find treatment is significantly better than doing nothing.

Possible Related Brain and/or Health Articles:

Frontal Lobe Dementia: General Description

Posted by on 05 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Brain, Brain Damage, Brain Development, Mental Health

Frontal lobe dementia is the direct result of brain damage to the frontal lobe of the brain in which dementia is the result. Picks disease is generally included in the diagnosis of frontal lobe dementia and people with them usually display very similar symptoms. People that experience developmental changes in personality, social behaviors, character changes, and impaired use of language due to damage or degeneration of the frontal and/or the temporal lobe(s) of the brain usually are diagnosed with Pick’s disease. It is very unfortunate to know someone with this diagnosis because currently, there is not a very good prognosis. Frontal lobe dementia is devastating because it changes the entire life of the person that has it.

Dementia Frontal Lobe General Description

Most frontal lobe dementias are accompanied by impaired cognition as well as psychological symptoms. Usually, psychological symptoms are found early on and they include (but are not limited to): impairments in social functioning, odd/erratic behavior, and signs of apathy. The symptoms of “Frontotemporal Dementia” are categorized by the description of Pick’s disease. People with this type of dementia may end up: being less active, losing interest in previously enjoyable activities, making inappropriate remarks in a conversation, and they may display symptoms of poor judgment.

Frontal Lobe Dementia Symptoms

Additionally, people with frontal lobe dementia may: not care about their personal appearance, they may act in an irresponsible manner, they may be very irritable (and experience other emotional problems like depression), and their ability to empathize with others (e.g. pick up on others’ emotions may be significantly reduced). Obviously not everyone that has this particular type of dementia is going to act the same or have the same symptoms of frontal lobe dementia; everyone is unique and therefore is going to be slightly different. Many of the symptoms can mimic psychological disorders, so it is important to distinguish frontal lobe dementia from a psychiatric disorder like schizophrenia.

Frontal Lobe Dementia Treatment

Frontal lobe dementia is extremely similar to vascular dementia – and really only brain imaging like fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) can distinguish between the two. This disease typically has an onset between the ages of 40 and 65. Unfortunately, there aren’t any medications used for successful treatment for frontal lobe dementia. SSRI’s are commonly given out to patients with this disorder to help stabilize their mood and erratic behaviors. Hopefully there are some new breakthroughs from scientists soon to help people that are struggling with this disease because it is extremely devastating.

Cell Phones And Brain Cancer Or Tumors

Posted by on 26 Jan 2010 | Tagged as: Brain Damage, Brain Studies, New Brain Information

Cell phones are utilized more and more each day by everyone on Earth. You can find people of any age who have cell phones. A lot of times, the presence of cell phones make a landline phone in a home obsolete. Due to the prevalence of cell phones in our culture, we start to rely on them more and more. Businesses such as record companies, Internet firms, and movie studios are using the cell phone as part of their new program.

Cell Phones and Brain Cancer

There are a lot of people who are concerned with how our health will be affected by cell phones. Since the cell phone is so convenient and easy to use, a lot of people have them. Sometimes, we use it to a fault, causing us to get into car accidents more and more often. This is an obvious health detriment that’s directly caused by cell phones. Most of us have seen people driving with cell phones in hand, and even been victim to it ourselves, and realize that once your attention is focused away from the road for whatever reason, it can be hard to avoid accidents.

There are frequent cases of people experiencing near-misses because one person wasn’t paying attention while on their cell phone. As a result, you should beware of cell phone-holding drivers. Whatever vehicle you drive, make sure that you have a functioning horn – you might need it when you least expect it. While there is a large threat from people not paying attention to the road as they talk on their cell phones, but that’s the only way in which cell phones can hurt you, right? On the contrary! The NCI, or National Cancer Institute, has a study that says otherwise.

Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors

According to several scientists, cell phones can dramatically affect your health due to the RF radiation that it emits, which can cause cancer in a lot of people, making them quite dangerous. The amount of radiation that the human body can safely handle is a subject that’s still debatable. Wireless technology hasn’t been around for awhile, so there’s not a lot of research about the effect of cell phones on the body. In short, we haven’t had cell phones long enough to observe the long term effects on humans.

Studies Reporting Cell Phones and Brain Tumors Non-Conclusive

With that in mind, how is brain cancer connected to cell phones? You can find an explanation here. The NCI states that radio frequency radiation from Radio Frequency waves, are transmitted by cell phones, and that’s how they operate. When your RF exposure gets high enough, your body tissues can heat up – this is evidenced by the increase in heat that you experience when you talk on your phone for a long time. The NCI study claims, however, that a cell phone can’t produce enough RF radiation to damage your brain tissues sufficiently to cause cancer.

Brain Stem Damage and Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted by on 19 Jan 2010 | Tagged as: Brain Damage, New Brain Information

A traumatic brain injury and brain stem damage can produce major changes in physical, cognitive, and psychological characteristics. Physical changes caused by brain damage may involve alterations in strength, endurance, balance, ambulation, coordination, and fine motor skills. Usual mental changes include errors in speech and conversation, recollection, understanding, and refining facts. There can also be alterations in the individual’s psychological behavior. People who have experienced brain stem injuries often have problems adjusting to the impairments resulting from the injury.

What Causes Brain Stem Damage?

There are several causes of a brain stem injury. The most common cause is an accident causing a hard blow to the head. These constitute the majority of traumatic brain injury cases. Insufficient oxygen, poisoning, or infections can also produce injuries to the brain that exhibit comparable characteristics. A mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) commonly causes any or all of the following: a short lapse of consciousness, memory loss from a point just before or after the injury, a variance in mental state, or focal neurological dysfunctions. An individual may appear normal after a mild brain injury, but can later develop persistent functional problems. Postconcussion syndrome (PCS) is an enduring condition caused by MTBI that inflicts a few individuals. PCS may produce major modifications in character and comprehension.

Traumatic brain injuries caused by a hard blow or hit to the head often result in extensive brain damage caused by the brain rebounding from the cranium. Neurons can also be sundered from each other, causing widespread damage to the nerve fibers. There can also be localized damaged caused by the blow to the brain. The frontal and temporal lobes and the brain stem are especially susceptible to damage because they are located close to bony outgrowths.

Effects of Damage to Brain Stem

The brain stem is situated at the foot of the brain. The brain stem controls basic regulatory and arousal activities and also affects short-term memory and attention. Brain stem damage can cause mood problems including feelings of being disorientated as well as irritability. The limbic system, a group of nerve structures below the cerebral cortex but above the brain stem, are concerned with emotional and motivation control.  As a result of damage to this particular area, people can kill brain cells.

The temporal lobes, large lobes of each cerebral hemisphere situated in front of the occipital lobe and attached to the limbic system, affect speech, recollection, and other mental skills. Temporal lobe injuries or seizures are connected to several behavioral disorders. The frontal lobe is especially prone to injury because of its large size and location at the front of the cranium. It is the epicenter controlling emotions and personality, as well as other cognitive functions. Impaired discrimination and heightened spontaneousness may be caused by injuries in this location.

Brain Memory Loss And How To Prevent It

Posted by on 18 Jan 2010 | Tagged as: Brain Damage, New Brain Information

Brain memory loss is considered to have been caused by a number of factors: physical trauma such as an brain injury or concussion, wear and tear due to age, and emotional trauma, such as a life threatening experience. The brain is the command center for all mental data, and also manages the execution of every physical and mental activity on a perpetual basis. Also, memory by definition is simply a vast warehouse of everything an individual has ever seen or been involved in. The actual physical process taking place in the brain is a matter of interpreting various experiences and then filing them in the mind for future reference.

Causes of Memory Loss In The Brain

The brain is called on to fulfill a very complicated process of sifting through a myriad of perceptions and dealing with them immediately before moving on to further tasks. The picture of the brain would tend to emerge as a massive computer humming away on a perpetual basis. But the computer can deteriorate over time just like any other machine, and getting older is a major cause of brain memory loss. Yes, there are many other reasons for the deterioration of the brain and memory loss, including physical trauma and substance above. But age is by far the biggest reason for brain deterioration and loss of memory. Age can also be a cause of serious illness as an addition to memory loss, as in an insidious disease such as Alzheimer’s, which has life threatening ramifications.

Long term memory is defined as happenings from long ago, and short term memory is generally considered to encompass experiences loosely from the immediate time period, and can include anything that happened just yesterday all the way back to several years ago, depending on the individual. Memory also includes various other brain functions, such as motor skills and learned responses to stimuli. These activities cannot be performed without the ability to focus and concentrate. In effect, the brain needs periodic maintenance, just like any machine. Occasionally the brain will experience operational breakdowns, and this can result in memory loss and difficulty with short term memory lapses, which can be very alarming to someone when they occur.

How To Prevent Brain Memory Loss

Typically, you may lose your car keys, or forget things that you normally would not, such as a friend’s phone number, or you might not even recognize someone who is ordinarily very familiar to you. As we get older, these types of problems can happen to all of us, and the best way to preserve the efficiency and accuracy of the brain is to undertake new challenges which will force you to stay sharp, such as crossword puzzles or complex math exercises. Memory games are a terrific way to exercise the mind in the same manner as a fitness program serves to tone the body. Regular brain exercises and mental gymnastics by engaging in memory games is a very productive and proven method for heading off memory loss.  You can also consider adding some memory vitamins to your regimen to further improve your mental functions.

Smoking Marijuana While Pregnant Damages Developing Brains

Posted by on 12 Jan 2010 | Tagged as: Brain Damage, Brain Studies

Research has proven that women who want to continue using recreational drugs while pregnant will lean towards marijuana because they believe that it won’t hurt the baby like harder drugs will. Just because marijuana hasn’t been proven to cause birth defects in comparison to alcohol causing fetal alcohol syndrome, doesn’t mean that it is safe to use during pregnancy.  Most people know that it is probably not a good idea to be smoking cannabis while pregnant with a baby because you put them at risk of developmental problems.

Effects of Smoking Marijuana While Pregnant

It is a well known fact that inhaling smoke of any kind keeps the unborn baby from receiving the oxygen that it needs. Smoking marijuana during pregnancy and smoking tobacco are both considered dangerous and discouraged during pregnancy. The baby can’t receive its proper amount of blood supply when the expectant mother inhales any kind of substance. Lack of oxygen before birth can lead to the baby coming into the world much smaller and weighing less. Low birth weight babies develop more difficulties after being born such as infections, jaundice, feeding problems, respiratory problems, low blood sugar, body temperature regulation problems, bleeding into the brain, and eye problems.

Mixing Marijuana With Other Drugs

It is common for some people to mix marijuana with other harmful substances. The mother may unknowingly subject her unborn baby to other dangerous chemicals that have been added to the marijuana. Marijuana can be ingested by the baby when drinking the mother’s breast milk. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the principal additive in marijuana and can be 8 times more potent in breast milk than it is in the mother’s blood. If a mother has used marijuana during her pregnancy or while breastfeeding, it can cause the baby to be jumpy, irritable, and fussy. The baby affected by the mother’s use of marijuana may experience a slower development of motor skills, although research has shown that this hindrance may correct itself later in life. It would be wise to exercise caution and stop smoking marijuana during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Drinking Alcohol While Pregnant

Since we have gotten your attention, we want to add that you should absolutely stop drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes during pregnancy or while nursing and put your baby’s needs before your own. If you feel you must have a drink or a cigarette, then it is recommended to put off breastfeeding for 2 to 3 hours after consuming the alcoholic beverage and to keep the second-hand smoke far away from the baby.

Pregnant Marijuana Studies

It is important to be aware that most of the studies done on the effects of marijuana to an unborn baby have been confusing and incomplete. Some of the factors that make it difficult to distinguish the effects of marijuana are from other various factors including alcohol consumption, drug use, living conditions, family relationships, and mother’s the temperament. The bottom line is that it is better to be safe than sorry by stopping the use of harmful chemicals, like marijuana, during pregnancy. Although it will require a drastic change to your habits, you will be proud to know that you stopped smoking cigarettes, using marijuana, and consuming alcohol in order to insure that your child will be born healthy.  Always try to avoid killing brain cells even if it means being more cautious than you normally would.